Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Arminius' Impact on Calvinism

Dan ("GodIsMyJudge") has an interesting post in honor of the 400th anniversary of Arminius' death (link). One criticism I have, is that I think he overstates the significance of the infralapsarian wording of Dordt's discussion of election. In fact, one could walk away from GodIsMyJudge's post thinking that Arminius was an infralapsarian Calvinist who prevailed at Dordt against the supralapsarians, rather than having his errant views condemned by that synod. In context, the point of Dordt is to deny foreseen merit, something upon which both supralapsarians and infralapsarians agree.

-TurretinFan

5 comments:

Jon Cardwell said...

Thanks for the link... and your comments. I agree with you, that it seems to me that the essence of Dort was to deny foreseen merit; that, in the past has taken me a paragraph or two to attempt to explain, which you did in the very last sentence. Well done.

We live and learn.

Blessings,

jon

Ryan D. McConnell said...

I agree that the focus of the language of the Canons of Dort in Article 7 was overstated. It's not as if supralapsarianism was something official. In fact, weren't the majority of the Reformed Creeds either explicitly infralapsarian or at least the language implied a infralpsarian view?

The article kind of came off as if supralapsarianism was, I guess, "defeated" and Arminius played some role in this "defeat". Undoubtedly, based on reading his Works, I do think Arminius' biggest issue was with supralapsarianism (the third part of his "On Predestination" speaks volumes on this). However, there was nothing ever there to "defeat" in regards to the lapsarian positions.

Interesting read, none the less.

Turretinfan said...

The historical fact of the matter is that Dordt was called to respond to the Remonstrants. Their five points are obviously not compatible with the infralapsarian Calvinist position.

Arminius was already dead by that time (by the time of the Dordt). Thus, Arminius did not have the three forms of unity at his disposal. When the Westminster Assembly (still later) adopted their confession and catechisms they were actually more careful (I'd say) to avoid making the Supra/Infra distinction a confessional matter.

So, I'd be hesitant to characterize the matter in terms of "the Reformed confessions" (although there were other confessions before those major ones).

Surely many of Arminius' attacks are aimed at folks like Perkins and Gomarus (who were supralapsarian), but Arminian theology is not able to peacefully co-exist with infralapsarian Calvinism either.

steve said...

Glancing through Dan's article, he seemed to suggest that Dordt essentially ratified some of the positions or formulations of Arminius.

This assumes, among other things, that the positions Dordt took weren't already within the range of Reformed theological options or variants prior to Arminius.

Is it Dan's contention that Arminius *originated* some of the positions or formulations which were later adopted by Dordt?

natamllc said...

It seems to me the most rational answer to Steve's question, is "yes".

I have to say, one who does concur that I too am wretched so I equally concur with Paul's answer:

Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Just the little I am able to comprehend of Arminianism, I tremble at the thought of having any, any, any responsibility for my safe passage out of here to Heaven!

One would be an idiot, albeit, some, intelligent, knowledgable idiots, to boot to rely upon our own self for our own salvation granted us as a most gracious and merciful Gift!

I bow my head in shame!!

Luk 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
Luk 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
Luk 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
Luk 1:17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."